On Tuesday, a Democratic House member of the U.S. House of Representatives, buying into the conspiracy theory that President Trump is trying to rig the 2020 election by manipulating the U.S. Postal Service, posted pictures of himself chained to a mailbox in order to protect it from Trump’s supposed nefarious plan.
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), who serves as Chair of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, posted a video on his Twitter account with a picture of himself chained to the mailbox, calling out, “They’re not gettin’ this one.”
“He’s posted a number of videos over the last several days alleging, without evidence, the conspiracy theory about Trump and the postal service. He also managed to allege Trump was also responsible for supposed delays in mail-order prescription drugs reaching senior citizens and military veterans because why not?” Legal Insurrection noted.
One tweet from DeFazio stated, “The United States Postal Service is a SERVICE a lifeline for Americans. Seniors, and veterans — and Trump’s sabotaging it, cutting back on operations and services to steal the election, This has to stop NOW! #Save Our USPS #USPS.”
Another tweet read, “Donald Trump is intentionally trying to destroy the United states Postal Service (USPS) to steal the election, — and we can’t let it stand! Millions of Americans rely in the USPS to get their prescription medication, and other essential items. #SaveThe PostOffice.”
After Hollywood intellectuals such as Jamie Lee Curtis and Mia Farrow stoked #MailboxGate, former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice gave a much-needed boost by retweeting Farrow, writing “WTH??”
But as Oregon Live reported:
A Postal Service spokesperson said declining mail volume means the Postal Service is removing “duplicate” boxes from areas that have multiple collection boxes. The USPS confirmed that four mailboxes were removed in Portland this week.
Ernie Swanson, a spokesman for the USPS, told OregonLive, “First-class mail volume has declined significantly in the U.S., especially since the pandemic. That translates to less mail in collection boxes.” He added to Willamette Week, “The reason we’re doing it is because of declining mail volume. Ever since the pandemic came along, people are mailing less for some reason.”
Postal Service spokesperson David Rupert echoed that some mailboxes were replaced with higher-security boxes.
Snopes.com answered the rhetorical question, “Were USPS Mailboxes Removed in Oregon?” by stating:
A fact sheet from the Postal Service does show that the volume of mail has decreased over the last decade. In 2009, 77.6 billion pieces of first class mail were sent through post office. In 2019, that number sat just below 55 billion. Conversely, the number of delivery points has increased by about 9 million over the last decade. It should also be noted that removing collection boxes has been a cost saving measure used by Postal Service for years. In 2011, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that number of collection boxes had declined by 60% between 1985 and 2011.
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